With more than two decades of dedicated work in intellectual property, Karen possesses a sophisticated skill set that combines her litigation and transactional experience in counseling clients on their immediate and long-term business needs. She counsels companies ranging from Fortune 100s to startups on how to build and protect their intellectual property now, and in the future.
Karen is the immediate past chair of the firm’s Trademark & Copyright Practice Group and now serves as the chair of Dinsmore’s IP Litigation & Enforcement Practice Group. She has represented her clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in nearly 65 federal court cases, has represented clients in numerous state court matters, and has handled nearly 300 matters for clients at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Karen has resolved countless enforcement matters and has led brand protection teams in protecting well-known brands against counterfeiters. Karen is the attorney of record on more than 1,600 trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and has lent her counsel to in-house trademark departments with Fortune 100 companies in connection with thousands more. She counsels clients on transactional and litigation matters involving all aspects of domestic and international trademark and branding matters, copyright, advertising, digital, licensing, promotions, and marketing matters. Karen also assists clients with all aspects of anti-counterfeiting matters involving investigation and pursuit of counterfeiters, and removal of counterfeit goods from the marketplace.
She provides her clients with holistic advice on brand development, strategic positioning, protection and enforcement, for both iconic and developing brand identities. Her core philosophy is there is no “one size fits all” approach, and every brand needs and deserves a thoughtful and tailored strategy to brand development that aids and enhances the brand’s overall growth.
Karen’s integrated and comprehensive counsel is a vital resource for clients facing litigation. She understands litigation is never ideal, and different clients have different philosophies when it comes to handling disputes. She counsels clients through every step of the litigation process, keeping her sights set on the preferred resolution, while also considering her clients’ short and long-term goals.
A reputation for providing unique, specialized counsel is why clients continue working with Karen for years. That includes USA Baseball, the national governing body for amateur baseball since 1978, which retains Karen as its outside general counsel. Along with IP and litigation counsel, Karen guides the organization through specialized projects, such as the development and implementation of a performance standard for non-wood bats used in youth baseball, and unique governance matters. The organization has praised Karen’s efforts, stating a working relationship that began as counsel for IP and trademark protection has grown continuously stronger as the program’s legal needs have changed. Her work with USA Baseball also led to her recent appointment on the Legal Commission for the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the International Governing Body for the sports of baseball and softball and a member of the International Olympic Committee. In this role, Karen serves with an Italian attorney and an Australian attorney, to guide the organization through a variety of legal issues.
Peers within the legal community also laud Karen’s work. She has received numerous awards and honors, including recognition from World Trademark Review’s WTR 1,000 where she was recognized in the organization’s Gold Tier for her leadership skills and responsiveness, as well as for strategic counseling in transactional and enforcement matters. In recognizing Karen’s Gold Tier status, WTR praised her abilities, saying, “Setting the highest standards as chair of the practice is Karen Gaunt, ‘a natural leader and extremely responsive lawyer.’ ‘Karen understands her clients’ risk tolerances and is flexible about adapting her work product to formats most useful for business people. She is well-versed regarding TTAB proceedings – her writing is persuasive and she is practical at devising case strategies.’”
- University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D., 1997)
- Denison University (B.A., cum laude, 1993)
- History & English
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of International Trade
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- Ohio State Bar Association
- International Trademark Association
- Cincinnati Bar Association
- Cincinnati Intellectual Property Law Association (Cincy IP), board member
- Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Class IX, fellow (2005)
- University Club, Board of Governors, Speaker Series Committee co-chair
- Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship, Board of Trustees
- Birthright, Inc., Advisory Board, Board of Directors (2004 - 2006)
- Best Lawyers©
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati for Litigation - Intellectual Property (2016)
- "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati for Copyright Law (2013, 2015, 2018, 2020)
- Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark Law (2021)
- Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Intellectual Property (2008 - 2021)
- Up And Coming (2006 - 2007)
- Ohio Super Lawyers® (2012 - 2020)
- Ohio Rising Stars® (2005 - 2006, 2011)
- Cincy Magazine
- Cincy Leading Lawyer
- Leading Lawyers Power 100 (2021)
- World Trademark Review’s edition of WTR 1000 (2014 - 2015); Silver tier (2016 - 2019); Gold tier (2020-2021)
- Honored by the National Law Journal in its Counsel to Counsel category (2014)